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Royal College of Surgeons of England

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation of 20,000 UK and international members, and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care. The College received its first Royal Charter in 1800 but traces its origins to the Company of Barber-Surgeons, established in 1540. In 1745, the Barber-Surgeons were split by an Act of Parliament into two bodies and the Company of Surgeons was established. The Hunterian Museum, forme...



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The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation of 20,000 UK and international members, and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care. The College received its first Royal Charter in 1800 but traces its origins to the Company of Barber-Surgeons, established in 1540. In 1745, the Barber-Surgeons were split by an Act of Parliament into two bodies and the Company of Surgeons was established. The Hunterian Museum, formed and developed from the collections of surgeon and scientist John Hunter (1728-1793) is based at the RCS.

Established in 1800, the Library was first made available for professional use in 1828. By the close of the 19th century, it was widely recognised that the Royal College of Surgeons possessed one of the finest medical science library collections in Europe. In the 20th century the Library focused on surgery and its specialities, dental surgery, the sciences basic to surgery (especially anatomy, pathology and physiology) and the history of medical science.

Arts Council England awarded Designated status to the Library, the Archives and the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2013, which complements the Designated status awarded in 1999 to the Hunterian Collection. It was noted that the collections contain a remarkable breadth of material relating to surgery, anatomy, pathology, physiology, public health, hospitals, military medicine, infectious diseases, botany and natural history. This breadth is reflected in the collection of more than 30,000 tracts and pamphlets which are all catalogued online and also available via Copac.

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Created on
February 11
2015
Andrea Mills
Archivist
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